Legacy players left behind

E-commerce puts a lot of pressure on legacy players says Tony Sham, CEO of Global Logistics System (Hong Kong)

GLSHK is an eFreight expert which establishes a cargo community system that connects airlines to other parties in the freight community, including more than 70 airlines and over 10,000 freight forwarders in 47 countries. I have been in the airline and logistics business for many years, during which I’ve seen Asia lead the way in the adoption of other logistics initiatives.

Cargo is an old industry. In some parts of the world, the legacy players have got used to getting things done in the ‘usual way’ for too long. When you want to drive digitisation, you need leadership, determination and push from the authorities and big players. In the US and Europe, some of these still aren’t pushing that hard. In Asia, airlines are determined, but they are also getting support from the trade.

The rapid growth in e-commerce means there’s a lot of pressure on the legacy players: if we don’t move quickly, some outsiders or even some of the e-commerce giants will find a way in. There are many tech-savvy platforms emerging these days, such as the uberisation of trucking and the share economy of warehouse and container spaces. Digitisation is rapidly reshaping the world, but it represents a huge opportunity for companies like us.